‘Ban God’ bill dropped, Kabataan Partylist Rep Raymond Palatino withdraws House Bill 6330, apologizesBy Angel Cuala on Jun 22, 2012 in Asia, Lifestyle, Local, Politics •
Manila, Philippines – Kabataan Partylist led by Rep. Raymond Palatino withdrew on Friday, June 22, 2012 its House Bill 6330, or the so-called ‘ban God’ bill, which aims to ban prayer services, masses, and displaying religious symbols in government offices, affecting mostly Christian Catholic and Muslim beliefs.
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According to ABS-CBN News on Friday afternoon, Rep. Raymond Palatino announced the withdrawal of the HB 6330, titled “An Act Empowering Heads of Offices and Departments to Strictly Implement the Constitutional Provisions on Religious Freedom in Government Offices”, and apologized as well.
As noted in the report, Rep. Palatino said in a statement that the withdrawal of the so-called ‘ban God’ bill is “in response to the appeal and clamor of some of our members, constituents and supporters, various groups, institutions and the general public to reconsider the filing of such measure.”
“Kabataan Partylist sincerely apologizes for any offense the bill caused. We are sad that we hurt the religious sentiments of many, when our desire was to uphold and promote religious sensitivity and harmony,” Palatino was later quoted when he announced the withdrawal of HB 6330.
“The religion of the minority ought to be respected, too. In a democracy, the rights of the minority should be protected also. The purpose of the bill is to ensure that government offices do not favor one religion over the other, or discriminate one against the other.” Palatino was quoted earlier, defending the bill.
Apparently, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also released a statement on their official website on Thursday, June 21, noting that the said bill would put the nation in peril if it will be approved, with CBCP vice president and Archbishop Socrates Villegas criticizing the ‘ban God’ bill.
“If we lose our soul as a nation, that’s real downfall. There is separation for Church and State but there is no separation of God and man. The Philippine Constitution itself invokes God Almighty.” Archbishop Socrates Villegas was quoted at CBCP.com.
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